Université de Strasbourg

Nicolas Giuseppone & Andreas Walther

Biography - Nicolas Giuseppone

Charles Sadron Institute (ICS), University of Strasbourg

Nicolas Giuseppone, USIAS Fellow 2017

Nicolas Giuseppone received his PhD in asymmetric catalysis (laboratory of Professor H.B. Kagan), performed a post-doctoral research in total synthesis (laboratory of Professor K.C. Nicolaou), and entered the field of supramolecular chemistry as an Assistant Professor (laboratory of Professor J.-M. Lehn). In 2008 he started his own research group, became Associate Professor, and was awarded an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council in 2010. In 2013 he was promoted Full Professor of Chemistry at the University of Strasbourg  and nominated as a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF). In 2016, he was promoted Distinguished Professor (Classe Exceptionnelle) at the University of Strasbourg.

Nicolas Giuseppone is deputy director of the Institut Charles Sadron (since 2012), representative for research integrity at the University of Strasbourg (since 2017), and has been elected as the next director of the Research Federation on Materials and Nanoscience for the Grand Est region (from January 2018).

His research interests are focused on supramolecular chemistry and functional materials.


Biography - Andreas Walther

Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Freiburg, Germany

Andreas Walther, USIAS Fellow 2017

Andreas Walther is a Professor for Functional Polymers at the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Freiburg (Germany). His research interests concentrate on developing and understanding hierarchical self-assembly concepts inside and outside equilibrium, and on using them to create active, adaptive and autonomous bioinspired material systems.

He graduated from Bayreuth University in Germany in 2008 with a PhD focusing on the self- assembly behavior and applications of Janus particles and other soft, complex colloids. After a post-doctoral stay with a focus on biomimetic hybrid materials at Aalto University (Helsinki, Finland), he returned to Germany in 2011, and established his independent research group at the DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen. In 2016 he was appointed to his present position in Freiburg. Andreas Walther has published close to 120 papers (h-index 42) and has recently been awarded the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award (for Materials), the Reimund Stadler Young Investigator Award of the German Chemical Society, a BMBF NanoMatFutur Research Group, and an ERC Starting Grant.

Project - Implementation of Light-Powered Nanomachines into Polymer Bulk: From Fundamentals of Active Matter to Functional, Life-Inspired Polymer Materials

October 2017 - September 2019

Rotating molecular machines (red and blue) winding polymer chains of an active material under light irradiation

Molecular machines can generate mechanical work from chemical fuels or light at the nanoscale and are able to produce new functions by energy transduction on higher length scales. In cells, biomolecular machines participate for instance in the copy of the genetic code, in various transport processes, in the synthesis of ATP, but also in the actuation of our muscles up to the macroscopic scale.

Scientists have recently designed and gained control over the first artificial molecular machines that function as isolated individual units (Nobel Prize for chemistry 2016). We believe that it is now timely and of crucial interest to integrate such artificial nanomachines into material science. The emerging active materials should be able to demonstrate adaptive mechanical properties (e.g. for damping), or contract (e.g. for actuators and robotics) when their integrated nanomachines are fueled by an external source of energy in an out-of-equilibrium fashion.

The goal of our project is to develop concepts for the integration of light-driven nanomachines into polymer bulk materials and develop the field of far-from-equilibrium, active polymer bulk materials (“active plastics”). Key objectives include to (i) find generic synthetic pathways for an efficient integration of nanomotors into polymer bulk, (ii) understand their fundamental operational principles under light irradiation, and (iii) capitalize on this understanding with material systems displaying new levels of active, adaptive and life-like properties.


Post-doc biography - Xuyang Yao

Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Freiburg, Germany & Charles Sadron Institute (ICS), University of Strasbourg

Xuyang Yao, USIAS Fellow 2017

Xuyang Yao was born in Shandong, China, in 1988. He obtained his B.S. degree in applied chemistry in 2011 and Ph.D. in applied chemistry in 2016 under the supervision of Professor He Tian from East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). During his PhD, he also worked in a collaborative project that combined supramolecular self-assembling systems with nanopore technology with Profssor Yitao Long’s group. After obtaining his PhD, he worked for one year in the same institute with Professor Xiang Ma to study room-temperature-phosphorescence materials before moving to the University of Freiburg as post-doc for the joint FRIAS-USIAS project.

Xuyang Yao will also work at the University of Strasbourg for half of the project period. His research interest focuses on controllable and functional supramolecular self-assemblies, polymers, and supramolecular light-responsive systems and optical materials.


Publication linked to project:
Damien Dattler, Gad Fuks, Joakim Heiser, Emilie Moulin, Alexis Perrot, Xuyang Yao, Nicolas Giuseppone, Design of Collective Motions from Synthetic Molecular Switches, Rotors, and Motors, Chem. Rev. 2020, 120, 1, 310-433.

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